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by Marcus Hook, at the Kia Oval
Friday, August 17, 2012
A haul of five for 69 from Murali Kartik helped Surrey battle back on day two of the London derby at the Oval, which ended with the hosts trailing Middlesex by two runs with nine second innings wickets intact.
Middlesex, who resumed on 99 for one, slipped to 188 for nine before recovering to make 232. Surrey’s revival was underlined when Rory Burns and Arun Harinath overcame the early loss off Zafar Ansari to take the hosts up to 86 for one at stumps.
Just six overs were possible before lunch, even though five miles up the road, at Lord’s, the opening session of the third Test escaped the wet weather.
Sam Robson departed leg before to the fourth ball of the day, but Tom Smith worked Zander de Bruyn through square leg for four to take Middlesex to three figures before Joe Denly got off the mark with a piercing straight drive off Jade Dernbach.
When play resumed, Denly drove Dernbach through backward point for four. The former Kent man followed it up with a back foot extra cover drive off Tim Linley, who had his revenge when Denly pushed at a wider delivery to go caught behind two overs later.
Smith cut Kartik for four before working Gareth Batty through midwicket, also off the back foot. In the 54th over, Dawid Malan on drove a full-pitched delivery from Batty to take the visitors past the 150-mark.
Middlesex then collapsed from 164 for three to 188 for nine before Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh dented Surrey’s newfound confidence by adding 44 in twelve overs for the last wicket to give the visitors a first innings lead of 88.
Kartik struck twice in the space of eight deliveries when Smith had his bails trimmed and Malan steered the slow left-armer straight into the hands of Burns at short leg to make it 171 for five.
Andrew Balbirnie took three fours off Kartik’s next over, two of which sped to the rope at extra cover, but then Neil Dexter was snapped up by Jason Roy, diving to his left at slip, and Batty trapped Balbirnie and Crook, both of whom were playing back, leg before.
With no addition to the score, Adam Rossington slapped Kartik straight to extra cover to make it 188 for nine.
After a brief period of reconnaissance Murtagh lifted Batty over long-on for six. Two overs later, the former Surrey man straight drove and cut Batty for boundaries, the second of which secured the only batting point of the match.
The 80th over began with Murtagh pulling Dernbach for four and ended with Dernbach showing his frustration by throwing down the stumps. However, moments later, Kartik finally drew a line under the innings when Murtagh’s confidence got the better of him and Rory Hamilton-Brown held on at deep midwicket.
Burns glanced the last delivery of the first over for four before driving Murtagh straight down the ground two overs later. But Ansari departed without scoring when Robson, at third slip, took a great catch in front of Rogers at second to make it 13 for one.
The ninth over saw Harinath pull Murtagh for four, but, with crease occupation top of their list of priorities, Burns and Harinath only found the boundary four more times in 23 overs to end proceedings on 40 and 39 respectively.